3 Key Considerations for CEOs and Their CIOs for Building an Agile, Modern Network

BrandPost By Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company
Oct 07, 2022

The CEO must empower the CIO to be an advocate for the network and work together towards building one that helps them achieve both individual departmental, and collective organizational goals.

By: Lars Koelendorf, EMEA Vice President, Solutions & Enablement at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company

Can an enterprise CEO today be successful without having a strong relationship with the CIO and the corporate network?

The short answer is no. Technology today powers and enables so much of how businesses function. Given the pace of digitization, the corporate network, led by the CIO, is increasingly becoming a critical business decision center for the CEO within the broader context of running a large enterprise.

In particular, there are three points CEOs today must consider when examining the network and their relationship with the CIO.

1. Investing in the network is foundational to achieving business goals

Is there any department across the modern enterprise business that would not benefit from the ability to work better, faster, easier, smarter, cheaper, and more secure?

The COVID-19 pandemic has already proven again and again why digital transformation is now fundamental to business growth and survival, especially in the face of outside, unanticipated events severely impacting normal business operations.

Matching technology with how business engages key publics, from clients to the community to investors and beyond, allows employees to create higher quality work while producing more competitive products and services that keep pace with ever-evolving demands. It means empowering back-end functions to support the rest of the business better than before. Meanwhile, regardless of which department they belong to or where they choose to work, employees must have the best experience possible, without any technical roadblocks and complications that can stop them from delivering their best work. Otherwise, employees will and are seeking out that environment elsewhere. Indeed, many employees actually experienced very good connectivity while working from home during the pandemic – and now demand that same easy and seamless experience coming back into the workplace or while on the road.

The key to creating that effective work environment is ensuring the CIO makes clear to the CEO the value of automated systems, which not only includes streamlining operations, but eliminating human error, overcoming human limitations, and freeing up employees to focus on projects that drive real value. In short, with the right technology, CIOs can drive actionable insights from the deluge of data that a given company has been accumulating that support the CEO’s long-term vision and business goals.

Enterprise data has the potential to deliver significant cost savings, improve operational efficiency, and even unlock new business opportunities and revenue streams. But first, it needs to be stored, secured, sorted, and analyzed – all of which a great enterprise network can facilitate.

To unlock its full potential, CEOs need to work closely with their CIOs and other department heads to understand the exact impact that the network could have on every area of the business.

2. The network also plays a vital role in achieving sustainability goals

Sustainability is not just a strategic priority. For most companies around the world, sustainability has become the priority, given that it’s being driven both from the top down (by company boards, investors, and governments) and from the bottom up (by employees, the general public, and key communities affected by business operations). In essence, networking capabilities must align with corporate sustainability goals and initiatives to truly achieve its full potential.

The network plays an integral role in empowering enterprises to become more sustainable, to measure and prove that sustainability, and to build more sustainable products and services. Therefore, investing in the right network infrastructure should be at the top of any CEO’s agenda, and they will need to work in tandem with the CIO and other relevant department heads to achieve those aims.

3. A modern network can help the enterprise stay ahead of potential pitfalls

Given the rate of change and disruption, any CEO simply investing just enough in the network to keep operations moving has already lost the plot. The CEO instead must work closely with the CIO to anticipate future business needs, opportunities, and threats, outlining clear goals and corresponding initiatives that ensure the modern network is flexible and nimble enough to meet the challenges.

It used to be that if the network were down, employees could do other manual work while waiting for a fix. Today, however, if there are issues with the network, everything stops, from the factory floor to the storefront to the corporate headquarters. In that sense, the network is mission-critical to keeping the business running.

But the network has so much more potential than this – to help the business continually stay ahead of and be differentiated from the competition. The reason is an agile network creates the foundation for every area of the business to innovate, from IT to R&D and logistics.

With an agile network, the infrastructure is always ready to integrate, support, secure, and fund any new technological developments that might help the business to move the needle on its goals.

Creating Strong C-suite Connections

While this particular article has focused on the relationship between the CEO and the network, at the end of the day, the CEO must empower the CIO to be an advocate for the network and support all C-suite members to work together towards building one that helps them achieve both individual departmental and collective organizational goals.

For more on creating a modern, agile network, learn about Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform): https://www.arubanetworks.com/solutions/aruba-esp/